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Undisclosed income may cross Rs 600 crore; questioning of Kalki "Bhagwan" likely: I-T




Chennai: As curtains came down on the nearly week-long searches in multiple premises linked to wellness guru "Kalki Bhagwan, Income Tax department sources said the 'undisclosed' income detected could exceed Rs 600 crore and the self-styled godman may be summoned for questioning.

The trusts and companies led by the spiritual guru, who propounded what he called "oneness philosophy", were also likely to face probe under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, the sources said on Tuesday.

During the six-day long searches, which ended on Monday, the group was found to have invested in firms in the country and abroad, including in tax havens, they claimed.

Meanwhile, Kalki Bhagwan, also hailed as "Sri Amma Bhagawan" by his followers, in a video message scotched rumours that he has fled the country.

"We have not fled the country, nor have we gone anywhere... we are only in Nemam (Tamil Nadu) and we wish to inform you that we are in very good health and that we are perfectly fine," he said in the video in which his wife was also seen.

"Whenever there is a big crisis the grace steps up enormously," he said adding he continued to conduct classes and spiritual activities were on as usual.

I-T sources told PTI the undisclosed income could be in excess of Rs 600 crore, adding investigation was in progress.

The searches were conducted by multiple teams comprising over 200 personnel.

On October 18, the tax department had said searches had led to detection of undisclosed income of more than Rs 500 crore in addition to Rs 93 crore worth seizures, including gold jewellery and diamonds.

A revised appraisal of such seizures now pegs its value at Rs 106 crore which includes cash (Rs 45 crore), gold jewellery and diamonds (Rs 41 crore) and foreign currency Rs 20 crore, the sources said.

As the investigation progresses and after further scrutiny of relevant aspects, the spiritual guru and his son, both of whom manage the group, may be called for questioning, they added.

A string of 40 premises connected to a conglomerate of trusts and companies founded by the spiritual guru that ran "wellness courses" were searched.

It covered premises in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Varadaiahpalem in Andhra Pradesh, a stone's throw from the Tamil Nadu border.

The entities founded by the guru, offered "wellness courses" and training programmes in philosophy and spirituality at various residential campuses sprawling at Varadaiahpalem, Chennai and Bengaluru.

The courses attract residential customers from abroad and the group earns substantial receipts in foreign exchange, the tax department had said.

The group, with interests in several sectors, including real estate, construction and sports in India and abroad, "is presently managed and controlled by the spiritual leader who laid the foundation of the group, and his son."

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News Summary - Undisclosed income may cross Rs 600 crore; questioning of Kalki "Bhagwan" likely: I-T
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